Childcare, single parents, and a cause for 2017…

Single Moms Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Child Care and Getting an Education

Over the last couple of years I have been working on a project for the super awesome Marci, my aunt-in-law. This project makes poor through studies and articles focused on several topics: Early Ed, Childcare, PreK, Birth thru 8 years old policy, and foster/adoption stuff. Every day there is something I come across that really impacts me, especially since shortly after the new year starts I myself will be a parent. The stuff I am finding now will impact Heather Harris and I in the near future. So when I come across articles like this one in #NYMag, I get upset.

Offering #ChildCare for single and/or low income parents who are trying to further their education so they can offer a better life for their little one just makes sense. But…that is something that is lost on a lot of people. This is an issue that won’t see improvement in the next two years either (that may change in 2018 depending on what happens w/Mid-Term elections.) Starting in 2017, I am going to make it my goal to do everything I can to help these causes that I currently just read about. I want and need to do this. Not just for my son’s future, but for my neighbor, my fellow Kansas Citian, my fellow American.

I’m gonna start stepping away from posting purely on politics on my social media (unless it is something pretty urgent.) It is fairly obvious where I stand; I hate Trump, the GOP will cripple our country/government, and I still am upset that Bernie wasn’t given a fair shake. Going forward, I want to focus on causes that I know will have a long-lasting impact on our country. A positive impact, one that will help us in 2017 and 2077 if done right. Let’s do this New Year; I’m ready to make you better.

Keeping’ it Geeky,

Average Joe

A Menu! (An Ode to Mum)

So part of this week I’ll be all by my lonesome (well, myself and two dogs, one who has a pretty nasty cough that I gotta keep an eye on) since the wife will be in the Sunshine state spending time with an old friend. Yes, I am jealous because A) the friend she is going to go see is pretty awesome B) her friend’s son is a blast to hang out with  and C) she’ll be in sunny Florida while I’m in cold Kansas (don’t get me wrong, I love the fall, but I don’t like cold.)

So since I am done for work for the month (besides my other contractual obligation which is more fun and informative than work) I have put my focus on my writing, prepping, and most of all, cooking. Over the past month I have started to dabble more and more in to the wide world of cooking, testing the abilities that I have to see if they are actually worth a darn.

My mums!

Gotta appreciate that Mother/Son dance at yo wedding!

Turns out…I got skill. Mad skill.

Let me back up real quick. I have always had a basic, fundamental understanding of how to work the kitchen to my advantage. The reason for that lies with one person specifically; my dear mums. See, many kids growing up nowadays don’t get the chance to spend time with one of their parents to be taught the necessary skills to be successful in the kitchen (at least it seems that way.) There is a myriad of reasons for that and I’m not going to get in to that here, however I will say that this saddens me. My mother made a point to spend time with each kid to show them the basics on how to cook (while working a full time job that required long hours as well as being hen mother to all of our friends…we lived a block away from school so we became the hangout spot for everyone once school and extra curricular activities were completed.)

My mother took a very “Peanut Butter and Jelly” approach to teaching us kids. By that I mean she broke down cooking as if we had never heard of a pot or pan before and explained it very simple details. To clarify, the PB&J approach would be like if an alien landed in your backyard and you were trying to teach it how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. You can’t assume it has the same understanding of a PB&J sandwich that you do, so you have to reallllllly simplify it. My mums did the same.

Now she didn’t do to talk down to us, no, she did it to make sure we understood the foundation of cooking before moving on to more complicated things. So she taught us everything from boiling water to make a cookies to browning meat and more. Those skills stuck with me and I’ve always done pretty good when I tried to apply myself culinary-wise. Of course, only when I tried…when I got lazy (which was most of the time when I started living on my own) I just snacked/microwaved/heated up process/pre-packaged food. Needless to say it really dampened my palate.

Now, several years after having been happily married and in a position where I can actually put some effort forth, I have started to improve my craft in the kitchen. I’m not saying I am the next Jamie Oliver, Alton Brown, or hell, a Guy Feiri (wait, on second thought, I know I’m better than Guy…what a joke), but I am saying that my mother may have fostered a seed in my that is just now blossoming in to a full fledged talent. That doesn’t mean I am never going to screw up when I make something; on the contrary, it means that I will most definitely screw up. Yet, that screw up will teach me even more on what to do and what not to do when I make something. Screw ups are part of the process, not the end.

So I set out to discuss the various options I am looking for the menu this week and I ended up writing a thank you letter to my mum for teaching me something valuable when I was younger. How about that?

So Mom, thank you. I am forever grateful for what you did for me long when I was little (though I know at times it was hair-pulling aggravating) and I will say for the many future mouths and tummies I plan on satisfying, they thank you as well.

But don’t think you can stop cooking when we come visit 😀

Keepin’ it Geeky,

The Oey